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The Facebook Algorithm + Your Campaign = A Match Made in Paid Social Heaven

Julianna Alanne May 15, 2019, 5:18:18 PM

 

It’s easy to get knee deep in the weeds with your marketing efforts, more so when you drill down into the nuances of your digital campaigns. Sometimes it’s just as important to take a step back and focus on narrowing down what matters. What are the key things brands can impact in Facebook advertising to drive optimal results and truly maximize the effectiveness of your campaigns?

Optimization = the action of making the best or most effective use of a situation or resource

Let’s start with the basics. Optimizing your campaigns is a balancing act between what to control and when to trust the Facebook algorithms to perform. Pick your battles and be smart about what you control. You should always think how can you let Facebook work its magic to deliver your message to the right people in the right place at the right time.

What can you actually control in your Facebook setup? We like to break it down to six levers of control, that will help you move the needle. For each lever listed below, we have indicated on a dial from Low to High, the factors you should learn to master (High) and when to let loose and let Facebook optimize freely (Low).

  • Optimization goal
  • Bid
  • Budget
  • Audience
  • Placement
  • Ads

We’ll kick this off with two of the levers above - Audience and Placement - where you can sit back, relax and let Facebook work its magic.

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Audience

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The ideology of segmenting, targeting and positioning is strongly emphasized in market research (e.g. Aaker, Keller, Kotler). This foundation remains, yet the mechanics of how to execute this are different in the world of Facebook marketing. For brands to succeed, you need to be able to reach the right consumer with the right product and the right message - a digital advertiser should also consider the right time and the right medium.

Facebook knows its users at their core. This is a huge asset that helps brands deliver their message to the right audience. When you are splitting an audience in Facebook, always ask yourself why? Is this really necessary? When choosing audiences for your Facebook campaigns, always consider the trade off of splitting your audience into various ad sets versus giving Facebook more data to deliver to the right people. Facebook algorithms are powerful and we have seen magic happen when we give them room to rumble. Splitting your audience unnecessarily may result in too small segments, and you may struggle to reach the 50 weekly conversions Facebook requires to deliver towards your optimization goal.

Thanks for bid multipliers, it is no longer necessary to split audiences into different ad sets in order to change your bids.  Bid multipliers help advertisers maintain a nuanced bidding strategy within a single ad set. For example, instead of creating three ad sets for different age segments, you can combine all of them into one ad set targeting and set bid multipliers of 1 – 100 % for those segments. You get the best of both worlds - broader audience to maximize the effectiveness of Facebook delivery algorithms with more data and ability to signal Facebook about the customer segment's value.

How you structure your audiences also affects the overall campaign structure. Generally, the simpler the campaign structure the easier the campaign management. Consider cutting down your ad sets from ten to two - and multiply this with each step in your workflow from creating assets, to optimize bids, budgets and reporting. A simple structure will free up more time to focus on your advertising strategy. 

Placement

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Letting Facebook optimize your placements is the way to go. By choosing automatic placement you are again giving the Facebook delivery system more room to find the best options for you from the available inventory. Facebook will work to optimize across placements to drive the cheapest cost. In addition to improved performance, leveraging flexible placements in a single ad set will make both creating and managing the campaign structure easier.

What if you want to specify your creative assets to each placement in order to create the best ad experience and relevance for your customers? This is no longer a reason to split your ad sets either, thanks to placement asset customization. As its name implies, you are able to customize assets to fit the native feel of each placement, for example differentiate the creative size for Newsfeed versus Stories.

You’re probably wondering, what about the parts that I can control as an advertiser? We’ve left those details for the next part of our series that you can (and should) bookmark and share with your digital marketing team - Three Steps to Give your Campaigns Some TLC.

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Author
Julianna Alanne

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